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Cats' Corners: the little HOUSE in the woods....
Where House is NEVER safe...
Reparations [new one-shot] 
29th-Nov-2007 01:12 pm
collide
Title:  Reparations
Rating:  PG
Characters:  Wilson, House
Summary:  It's House's second day back at work following Rehab--and he has something to share with Wilson.
Genre:  Angst, Friendship
A/N:   This rather short one-shot came to me out of nowhere this morning; i believe that it may have been inspired by a discussion with   leaveout    following my take yesterday on episode 4.09.  And for an amazing drive-by beta, heartfelt thanks to the wonderful, invaluable   blackmare_9   !
P.S.  Yeah--you might've read this yesterday.  But then, because I continued to revise it several times after posting--and because I had a crisis of confidence based on a very weird combination of factors all coming together at the same time, I locked it.  And this morn, all those factors have been put into perspective, I've [well, some bitter white tablets have--finally] gotten a handle on an unusually bad spate of pain, and I'm finished sitting out in the garden, munching on the worms  blackmare_9  so generously offered to fry.  So I ask your indulgence with that little blip on my radar.  Here's the story, again, with a zillion minor [and likely unnecessary] revisions. I apologize.

 

 

House and Wilson glare at each other across Wilson’s desk.  House stands in an accusatory posture; Wilson sits not-quite-defensively, but he has clasped his hands together.

 

It’s House’s second day at work after the travesty that was Christmas Eve, the cosmic joke that was Rehab.  His first day back, by unspoken agreement, he and Wilson had successfully avoided one another.  But now, House has entered Wilson’s office clearly primed for a fight.  That much is easy to figure out—but still, Wilson’s utterly unprepared for House’s opening volley.

 

“You almost killed me.”

 

Wilson sighs.  “House.  When I left you on the floor, you’d vomited.  And all indications were you were gonna vomit some more.  The oxy was leaving your system.”

 

“Precisely.”

 

Wilson looks at him, genuinely confused.  “So how did I almost kill you?”

 

House takes a deep breath, in an attempt to calm himself.  It works; when he begins to speak, his tone is neutral.  “I came to you.  Asked for a scrip for anti-emetics.  Remember that?”  He waits until Wilson nods impatiently.  “You refused.”

 

Wilson waits, certain that House is going to continue, going to explain.  When House remains silent, Wilson says, “I didn’t almost kill you; if I’d given you the metoclopramide, that would’ve been murder.  All that oxy would have stayed down.”  Wilson pauses, and meets House’s eyes.  “You would’ve died.”

 

House shakes his head.  “No.  If you’d given me the scrip, the rest of it wouldn’t have happened.  I… the withdrawal, the nausea.  I couldn’t sleep.  I couldn’t eat.  And it was just…  I had to control some of it.”

 

Wilson’s eyes grow wide; he’s beginning to figure out where this is going.

 

“So I stole the oxy; figured I could take just enough to take the edge off the withdrawal, get the vomiting under control.  But by then I… wasn’t thinking straight.  You know the rest.”

 

House tone has remained calm throughout, but now the hard, accusatory look is back in his eyes—and they’re trained directly at Wilson.

 

Wilson, unaware that he’s doing it, stands as his jaw goes slack.  He stares back at House as the horror grows in his eyes.  When his face goes pale and he wavers on his feet, House instinctively takes a step towards him, hand out.  But House stops when Wilson involuntarily takes a faltering step back.

 

Wilson finds his voice.  “I… House, I….  Oh, God,” he whispers.  His legs give out then; the chair’s there to catch him as his head drops to his hands.

 

House moves to the couch and sits.  He’s still watching Wilson, but now the anger’s drained from his eyes, replaced with puzzled concern; he'd expected an argument, a denial--not this heartsick, guilty man crumpled in front of him.  He says nothing, just watches.

 

Finally, Wilson whispers, “I’m… sorry,” and House nods.

 

When House speaks, his voice is—almost—gentle.  “Just thought you should know.  Because… patients don’t always lie.  And doctors aren’t always right.”

 

The two sit, in silence, for several minutes, each lost in his own thoughts, his own memories.  It’s not uncomfortable, exactly; there’s simply a mutual air of waiting.  What comes next?  So Wilson ventures quietly, “Wanna get some lunch?”

 

Their eyes meet, and in this silent conversation, both acknowledge that there’s still work to be done, understanding and forgiveness granted—from both sides.  But they’ve taken the initial step, that very first, incredibly difficult step, and House smiles hesitantly.

 

“Who’s buying?” he asks.  Wilson knows that House knows the answer—but that he needs the comfort of the familiar, the past.  And Wilson sees the hope in his eyes, vulnerable and almost childlike.
 

Wilson grins.  “Stupid question.  I’m buying.” 

 

As they leave the office together, Wilson thinks that lunch—the first, Wilson suspects, in a long line of reparative meals provided, of course, by him—is a ridiculously small price to pay.



Thoughts 
29th-Nov-2007 07:09 pm (UTC)
That's beautiful, absolutely beautiful. Especially the unspoken conversation. I have no better words.
29th-Nov-2007 08:00 pm (UTC)
the unspoken conversation

which i deepened at blackmare's suggestion. glad you enjoyed it.
29th-Nov-2007 07:20 pm (UTC)
You're the best, really, honestly.
Wonderful writing, I still can't understand why you're not hired on this show. Darn it all ! the writers are on strike but I don't even care : We have you and Julia. You're the best, really. honestly.
29th-Nov-2007 08:00 pm (UTC)
and you are a loyal, wonderful reader; thanks!
29th-Nov-2007 07:20 pm (UTC)
Simply wonderful.
29th-Nov-2007 08:01 pm (UTC)
thanks much. this one came out of nowhere, but i'll admit--i'm pleased with it. :)
29th-Nov-2007 07:41 pm (UTC)
I do love your thoughts even if they are short. Thanks a lot for sharing them with us. You are able to let you readers feel what the acteurs are feeling and you let your readers get a feeling of the mood of your stories, even the fic is not long. Great! You are a great author!
29th-Nov-2007 08:02 pm (UTC)
glad you enjoyed it; thanks muchly!
(Deleted comment)
29th-Nov-2007 08:04 pm (UTC)
go the route the show doesn't

and that's one of the greatest things about fanfic--always new routes to take! thanks.
29th-Nov-2007 09:40 pm (UTC)
I don't get how this was Wilson's fault. Why did he apologize now?
29th-Nov-2007 09:47 pm (UTC)
all i can do is repeat my mantra on this subject: house doesn't have a problem with vicodin--he has a problem without it. and wilson was [yet again] instrumental in taking away the vicodin.

and i made very clear that both of them have work to do in the 'understanding and forgiveness' department.

i'm very sorry that this piece brought you no enjoyment, but i do appreciate your taking the time to comment and let me know.
29th-Nov-2007 09:46 pm (UTC)
So, should I be flattered or insulted, out of curiousity.
29th-Nov-2007 09:50 pm (UTC)
flattered, absolutely! i'm grateful, because you got me thinking. our interchange forced me to think of new ways to support my argument that wilson bears some blame for what transpired. i'm sorry--i should have made it much clearer that i was thanking you. i'm proud of this piece--and without our 'conversation,' it wouldn't exist! i apologize.
29th-Nov-2007 11:37 pm (UTC)
I want to make one thing clear (before I start my neverending rant about how Wilson SO is innocent!ha ha) - there's nothing wrong with the fic as such, I like how you did their reactions and stuff. Actually, it's the kind of fanfic I enjoy reading: except when the author's theories doesn't agree with my view on things.. like in this case (sorry!!) ^___^

Because I don't see at all how House could blame Wilson, for any of it. Just like House told him in his little apology. (Yes, he stayed on the vicodin, but he DID apologize sincerely about the rest.)

I don't know where to start, or where to end this, so let's just ...go.

Some of House's pain IS actually just in his head, like when he's feeling guilty and stressed. That's been proven when Cuddy gave him the "morphine" placebo and he felt "great" EVEN though he really never got any medication! Knowing that, naturally Wilson will think twice before prescribing whatever drugs House wants. Anything else would be irresponsible.

ALSO about him being reluctant to admit that maybe House really IS in pain; maybe he just doesn't want to believe it himself? Like, "if I don't acknowledge it, it'll go away"? Sure, a DOCTOR can't think like that, BUT he and House are NOT just doctor and patient! This is just him being House's FRIEND who knows how manipulative he can be, and also about whom he worries a lot. And there's a reason as to why doctors often don't treat people close to them - they might not be able to stay objective or reasonable in their thinking.

Getting him the deal? Nothing AT ALL wrong there. He was ready to go TO JAIL for House! But when he realized both of them would go, then what good would that do? And what would be wrong with going into rehab??!

House IS addicted to the Vicodin, that's a fact. YES he takes them to relieve the pain, but if a lot of that pain isn't actually physical, but in his head? Then he's actually medicating for nothing! And waning him off Vicodin and looking into changing his meds into "healthier" stuff would be bad.. in what way exactly!? I just don't see how anyone can even argue with this. Wilson did it FOR HOUSE'S OWN GOOD, because NO! a drug addict DOESN'T always know what's best for them!

Buuut~ I'm gonna end this rant just like that, because I'm so tired I can't even think straight, not to mention WRITE...I'm not even sure any of this came out coherent enough for anyone to understand :'D and also, because I'm soothed by the fact that in canon, House doesn't blame Wilson, only himself for the overdosing-thing (remember he went to Tritter by himself after that? clearly he realized he's in the wrong).

Though...sometimes I wonder if I'm the only one supporting Wilson 100% when it comes to everything that went on in season 3...?

(Uh.. anyway. I swear no offence is intended, because if I hadn't liked your fanfic, I wouldn't even have stayed long enough to comment a word, trust me on that! I just get defensive when someone talk down on people I like, be that in real life or just characters of a tv show! ha ha!)

nightZzzz
29th-Nov-2007 11:50 pm (UTC)
I am going to say that I have never, nor do I now, nor will I ever blame Wilson for leaving House on Christmas Eve. I know a lot of people thought it was horrible, it shocked me, I really didn't expect him to leave but it was a rare moment when I was genuinely proud of Wilson. He's had his fair share of screw-ups, no doubt, but in that particular instance, I didn't blame Wilson, I was proud of him (once the initial shock wore off.)
(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
30th-Nov-2007 12:04 am (UTC)
Yay, you're brilliant. My heart was just breaking for poor Wilson. *hugs him* I really don't know what else to say, but this is wonderful.
30th-Nov-2007 12:15 am (UTC)
when i reread it, i teared up, too. i'll tell you, those two amazing men are an infinite source of angst and humor, and i dearly love them both. thanks for the kind words!
(Deleted comment)
30th-Nov-2007 02:34 pm (UTC)
i think that for many people, right now, the need to jump to wilson's defense has become simply a knee-jerk reaction; if his wholesale defenders were to give it some thought, i believe they'd have a clearer picture of our sweet, scared, angry, confused, caring wilson--who is, after all, only doing what he thinks is best. and of course, even wilson must be allowed to make mistakes, both big and small. because that's just how life works, even for fictional characters--if they [and we] weren't fallible, it'd be a lot more difficult to feel as strongly about them [on all areas of the spectrum] as we clearly do!
30th-Nov-2007 01:45 pm (UTC)
I didn't get a chance to comment last night before this went down for revisions, and I'm so glad to see it's back.

Your observation of that one small detail is brilliant. And you have House say something in this story ("I had to control some of it.”) that really goes to the heart of the matter. Things in both their lives and their friendship had completely spiraled out of control during that time. This one small thing would have helped House regain some control, but it didn't happen and disaster followed.

It's absolutely understandable that Wilson, who was at the end of his own rope, would say "no" at that time. He was hell-bent on getting House into rehab. He's not a bad doctor or a bad human being, but he made a bad decision out of desperation. We've all done that, and I think that's what makes Wilson's shock at realizing what he'd done, his understanding and his gesture of reconciliation so very real in this story.
30th-Nov-2007 02:23 pm (UTC)
"I had to control some of it.”

and that, to me, is the most important line in the story--for all the reasons you mention. and in the story i envisioned, wilson did deny responsibility, and argue with house. but when i sat down and began to type, well... as you can see, wilson's reaction wasn't the one i'd carefully planned. it was more... real. more human and tragic and even more positive, long-term, for both men. so--who am i to argue with wilson?
30th-Nov-2007 02:39 pm (UTC)
Love how you wrote this! Wilson would have come to his own conclusions as to what happened. But when presented with the one piece of the puzzle that he missed (why House wanted the anti-emetics) and I can see him reacting just like this. It would hit him like a ton of bricks- because, with that last piece he'd easily follow House's train of thought. (Wilson may not be at the same level of brilliance as House, but he's not that far behind- which is probably one of the reasons Wilson needs House as much as House needs Wilson, it's got to be lonely not having anyone who can keep up with you. Must have been a joy to find a kindred spirit the first time they met!)

This story also makes me wonder if there's something that Wilson (and House) missed regarding House's dependence on the Vicoden. House is trapped in a damaged body. I wonder if House needs the Vicoden not so much to kill the pain as to suppress it enough for House to settle his thoughts. It seems whenever House has a brainstorm, he needs to move-- pacing the hall, throwing the ball-- something that's not connected with what he's working on. I'm guessing before the infarction he'd run or do something physical to calm his thoughts but now he can't, and that has got to frustrate him more than anything else. (I can also see him doing some physical after dealing with clinic patients all day to clear his mind-- and he can't do that now.) I could see that being one of the reasons House might be resistant to getting off the Vicoden-- it works for him, and having to go searching for a new combination of drugs that might (or might not) work the same way as the Vicoden does for him.

lol- Sorry for rambling-- your stories always get me thinking about how I view the characters and I want to write down what's in my head (as unformed as it may be) before getting distracted by something else! Thanks for sharing this with us!
1st-Dec-2007 01:21 pm (UTC)
Okay, and I do know how to spell "Vicodin" and the end of this thought was "...that might (or might not) work the same way as the Vicodin does for him would be something he'd probably avoid even if Wilson was pushing for it. House usually listens and considers Wilson's POV on everything else except that it seems."*headsmack* :)
30th-Nov-2007 03:01 pm (UTC)
Hm, you know my view of their friendship but I don't see much reason to disagree here. I'm not sure I can see House actually confronting Wilson because why would he? I think he's convinced he deserved it.

FWIW, it's well-written, captures the voices well and has an interesting premise. All is well *g*
2nd-Dec-2007 05:08 pm (UTC)
not sure I can see House actually confronting Wilson because why would he? I think he's convinced he deserved it

i too am convinced that house is convinced he deserved it. further, i believe that house is convinced he somehow deserves every negative thing that's ever happened in his life.

that said, i believe house's motivation here is born, not of a need to confront wilson--but of a compulsion to teach, to make people think. it is, of course, far too late for house himself to benefit from wilson's realization--but it's not too late for wilson's newfound knowledge to benefit someone else [possibly even house] in the future. and i think this is vitally important to house; it's part of how he feels he "makes a difference."
30th-Nov-2007 04:25 pm (UTC)
I was so sad when I found out this story went down last night before I could read it, so I'm glad to see it return! I enjoy seeing instances when Wilson isn't just portrayed with goodness and light. I appreciate and like his character because of how complicated he is--like a real person, a mix of good and bad qualities that are sometimes at odds with each other. He's made some terrible decisions in his life and I'm happy to see someone address some of those decisions. Thanks for this. (I'd say more about his misunderstanding of House's pain problems, etc., etc., but so many people have done it already and I'd just be repeating it.)
2nd-Dec-2007 05:13 pm (UTC)
lj keeps eating my replies, and it's frustrating. trying again.

wilson is, indeed, an endlessly complex, endlessly fascinating character of many dimensions. which, of course, gives us endless fodder for stories such as these!
30th-Nov-2007 04:36 pm (UTC)
That is absolutely gorgeous, and so very them.

*mems*
2nd-Dec-2007 05:14 pm (UTC)
thanks--i'm flattered!!
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